With its patented UNB technology and low throughput network, SIGFOX has met an incredible challenge: transmitting the billions of data of the Internet of Things in a cost-effective, eco-responsible, efficient and reliable way.
One of the keys to SIGFOX’s incredibly competitive low throughput Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things communication technology ultimately lies in its radio technology. This UNB , that stands for Ultra Narrow Band, technology uses free frequency radio bands (no license needed) to transmit data over a very narrow spectrum to and from connected objects.
Designed for low throughputtransmission (10b/s and1kb/s typical range), the UNB Wireless technology benefits from a high level of sensitivity. Data transportation becomes very long range (distances up to 40km in open field) and communication with buried, underground equipment becomes possible, all this being achieved with high reliability and minimal power consumption. Furthermore, the narrow throughput transmission combined with sophisticated signal processing provides effective protection against interference. This also ensures that the integrity of the data transmitted is respected.
Another advantage of the outstanding sensitivity of UNB devices is resources savings. The technology allows SIGFOX to deploy a very effective, low throughput communications network by limiting the number of antennas (base stations). When compared with a cellular network such as GSM, for the same level of coverage, SIGFOX’s solution requires around 1,000 times less antennas and base stations. The impact on cost is massive, is 100 times less expensive to build, install and operate.
Furthermore, each of the radio elements used in the network (to emit and receive data) are significantly less energy intensive than devices using competitive technologies (such as GSM or broadband radio). This achieved expertise allows SIGFOX to minimise the network’s ecological and economic footprint and to provide the cheapest low throughput M2M and IoT communications solution on the market.
SIGFOX provides an end-to-end solution for your transmission chain, from your equipment through to your information system. With a clear Internet focus and a specifically designed and tailored cloud service, SIGFOX’s network uses web communication protocols that make it easy to integrate your applications.SIGFOX’s network is designed around a hierarchical structure:
- UNB modems communicate with base stations, or cells, covering large areas of several hundred square kilometres,
- Base stations route messages to servers,
- Servers check data integrity and route the messages to your information system.
From the very beginning and the design stage,SIGFOX has integrated required reliability constraints for applications looking to connect large numbers of equipment and objects. As such, SIGFOX can ensure connection reliability for these applications over a long period of time. What’s more, SIGFOX’s network has a redundant and continuously monitored infrastructure in place to guarantee high service quality.
Each base station has a minimum of 2 IP links available for information exchange with the SIGFOX cloud service. The base stations host and process data flow. Information transmitted by each object is simultaneously received by several antennas. This guarantees a continuity of service in the event of a network juncture (node) being made unavailable.
As for network infrastructure, the material and software architecture of the servers is designed to ensure maximum availability and fault-tolerance. Each function is redundant and the databases are replicated, with regular remote backup to storage.
As well as message routing, supervision and alert functions are also provided thanks to the archiving of messages by central servers and the monitoring of UNB modem behaviour. As our network has been designed for industrial use, you can consult network traffic for each modem as well as for each modem family. Alerts can also be configures to be triggered in case of modem silence (equipment malfunction, loss of power, network incident) or low battery level.
The servers are located in secure hosting centres with secured access.
Furthermore, the entire SIGFOX network uses encrypted communication protocols to guarantee the confidentiality and integrity of your data. The network is also a transparent channel of communication, and you alone are aware of the nature and content of the data transmitted via our network.The modem management back office has a system that enables you to independently create and manage user groups. These groups apply to users with visibility and limited permission to access your modems.
Available from our qualified partners, UNB modems are easy to integrate and operate. With a serial interface and digital inputs/ outputs, the modems are also operated via an AT command set.
In order to guarantee simple and quick data flow integration with your information system, the SIGFOX solution offers a Web service-inspired interface, using standardised W3C. Furthermore, you can at any moment connect and view your data using a simple web browser.
Typical use case: Smart Metering (including embedded equipments) >> 3 x 10 bytes transmitted / day